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Daimler prepares to drop $11B on EVs, expanding Smart lineup

The company, which includes Mercedes-Benz, plans to unveil 10 electric models on the same platform within a decade.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ
Emme Hall/Roadshow

Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, is getting ready for our electrified future, and it's not afraid to drop a whole chunk of change to embrace the battery-electric vehicle.

Daimler plans to invest approximately $11 billion on electric vehicle development, Automotive News reports, citing an interview between the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper and Thomas Weber, Daimler's head of R&D. A big chunk of that will go toward a single electric-vehicle platform that could support 10 different vehicles, all of which Daimler hopes to have developed by 2025.

Three of the models developed on this platform will fall under the Smart brand, Weber said, and given assumed enhancements to battery life, range could extend beyond 400 miles on a single charge. Right now, Smart offers the Fortwo Electric Drive, which has a range of under 100 miles. That would be quite the big leap in just 10 years' time.

Another one of those vehicles is likely to be a production variant of the Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept that debuted at this year's Paris Motor Show. Mercedes is set to use EQ as its electric sub-brand, although that could very well change between now and the time the vehicle reaches production.

Automotive News also pointed out that, between now and 2025, Mercedes will continue to offer diesel vehicles in the US. There were rumors that Mercedes would follow in Volkswagen's footsteps and kill off US diesels entirely, but it appears that won't be the case, following confirmation from a Mercedes spokesperson.

Daimler is far from the first to go all-in on electric cars -- in fact, every member of Germany's Big Three is ramping up its dedication to EVs. Volkswagen announced that it will unveil some 30 different electric vehicles over the next decade, while BMW hopes to increase its EV sales to 100,000 units in 2017, and it may begin to achieve that goal with a revised i3 electric city car.